Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Something Blue (and purple, too)

After three cardigans (and another one in progress), two bonnets and the baby blanket (blogged here), I thought this coming baby really needs some knitted nether garments.

Some research and I went for "the classic" - Elisabeth Zimmermann's Baby Leggings (February), the pattern is nearly 50 years old now, time-tested on generations of babies. And I don't know why, but I am always totally excited when I knit one of her patterns. Maybe because she is such a knitting genius, an icon and it takes some brains to figure out her "pithy" instructions.

They are two versions of the pattern, one in her book "The Opinionated Knitter" and another similar one in EZ's "Knitter's Almanac". They differ slightly in the number of stitches and ways of decreasing, and I think the Almanac's pattern is more accurate.

I started with the blue one, 100 % virgin wool, after all the pink and purple, on 4mm needles and the instructions in the "Opinionated Knitter". The the result is probably something for next fall, for a baby 9-12 months old. I omitted the bootee-foot, not really necessary on a crawling baby or a baby learning to walk. I guess, I will be happy next year to have some longies ready to put on, with probably less time for knitting ...

The pattern only gives you one size, so I went down to needle size 3mm for something more "right now" or "very soon" - like you want to put in on the baby in the coming colder months. I loved knitting those, on the same bamboo needles I knitted for coming baby Clara five years ago (the only needles I actually had at this time).

The wool for both came from a wool bargain (blogged here) in February, when I was mentally getting ready for a new baby. I love those little green speckles in the purple-white yarn, which is very soft to the touch (half wool, half acrylic, probably more durable).

I used the pattern from the "Almanac" and did the bootee-feet.

Finishing touches: an i-cord for the purple version and some elastic for a more active baby to fit next fall. Something new I learned around midnight (yes, the night knitting virus is back!): Grafting with Kitchener Stitch for closing the seams of the bootees and crotch, actually quite fun and they are some very helpful videos on the internet. You can find my Ravelry notes here. While doing the finishing I watched a prenatal yoga video (this one if you would like to know, Anna Getty also trained with my Kundalini yoga teacher Gurmukh). I am not quite sure, whether this is the way you are supposed to use this video, but the combination worked for me, relaxed and inspired me. And I had two finished pairs of baby leggings in my hands at the end of the video!

And because I enjoyed knitting these leggings so much, I am seriously considering knitting the lady version of the longies for myself now, a.k.a. "leg sweaters". Have to find a nice yarn first - see you wool shopping...

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